Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Greenish Brownish Golden Tint News

It's official - USA v Mexico, Wed Feb 11 in World Cup Qualifying, will be played at Crew Stadium in Columbus OH! Is the third time another charm, or does the luck run out?

~and~

The Houston Dynamo All Access radio show with Glenn Davis will be even bigger than ever this week. On Wednesday night from 7-9pm central time you can tune in and expect to hear Glenn chat with former Dynamo and now Toronto F.C. Dwayne DeRosario, Dynamo manager Dominic Kinnear, new Dynamo defender Julius James and Maryland coach Sasha Cirovski. Hear it live, or podcast the next day on the MLS site or the Houston radio station they broadcast from.

~and~

Sigi Schmid tells us why he chose to coach in Seattle: "To be the first head coach of this franchise ... to see what this club is doing behind the scenes — the organization, the structure, the commitment to the community and the sport of soccer — is beyond what's happening anywhere in this entire country, and I think that's something that I was really excited to be associated with."

~and~

Here comes the naming of US Soccer's 7th Annual 2008 "Best of" Awards. The first Batch including Best Blog, for which du Nord was humbley nominated. (But if you think we won, then you are sniffing glue.) All the winners are top notch!


MLS Team News

CD CHIVAS USA

Andrea Canales of Goal.com reports that there is a chance Preki could be out as coach of the Amerigoats.
-Nick Green of the Daily Breeze on this blog 100 Percent Soccer talks to the Chivas media staff who say they are aware of no changes on the horizon.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

HOUSTON DYNAMO

Bernardo Fallas of the Chronicle says that by selling DDR, the team is handing the keys of the company truck over to Stuart Holden.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Glenn Davis of the Chronicle gives an outgoing salute to Dwayne De Rosario.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

SEATTLE SOUNDERS

The Times and Post Inteligencer on the arrival of Bigi Sigi as the first manager!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

GENERAL

Theatre of the Absurd - or - The Future of World Football: the new coach of Huddersfield says one of his inspirations for new ideas came from John Carver, Toronto FC & MLS!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

College News

The Washington Post with an article on Maryland's magnificent coach Sasho Cirovski.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Soccer In America

There has been a fairly steady stream of articles already this week slamming college soccer and a stepping stone for the next wave of pro's in America. The word is that the whole system needs an overhaul.
-Soccerlens has one of these articles with lots of quotes from some of the top names in the game.

But most of you know that I tend to be a contrarian to big subjects like this.
I just see that top flight youth soccer in America has now blown right past the college level of the game.
20 years ago it was the pinnacle for professional pre-training. Today its the 2nd group of players in the 18-22 year old range that are getting a chance to play at the big time colleges.
The top tier of players moved past that level a decade ago.
OK, so I can't disagree that there are flaws in the college system, but that excuse is out of date too.
We can show the flaws in all college sports systems. Especially if all we see them as is training ground for the pro ranks. (The larger-than-life exception being American football, where it truly is 100% the training ground.)
The college system supplies almost no one for baseball, hockey, tennis, golf etc, and yet we don't see that as some kind of disaster.
And now we even see the NBA hardly relying at all on 4 year college graduates. As a matter of fact, that kind of basketball player is very rare, and most "pundits" see a kid who stays for 4 years of college hoops as "flawed" for the pro game - ie Tyler Hansbrough of North Carolina.
The real kicker is that you and I know that the best soccer players in America stopped using college as their training ground awhile back.
That 1998 class from the US Soccer Residency program unleashed Donovan, Beasley, Onyewu & others who never saw college as their next step, even if a couple stopped by for a year or so.
The list of great players from the last 10 years who skipped our college system is like looking at the best 25-50 players in America.
On the positive side, I actually see college soccer as giving even more kids a chance to keep playing at a higher level then high school. And occasionally a few of them will be late bloomers who come out of the college scene to make great pros. It's just giving more spots for everyone to keep playing the game after the age of 17.
(We even hear this same type argument beginning to be made now by high school soccer enthusiasts that think the new US Soccer Development Academy league is hurting that game too. Hogwash.)
Finally, let's be honest, do you really think the top minds in the college game aren't going to want to see changes to their game that might keep the kids around longer, it's how they make their money isn't it.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Americans In Europe

Goal.com feels 2008 was a great year for the boys who played abroad.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

South America News

ARGENTINA

Simon Kuper of the Financial Times says that you can't always judge a player by his overweight look. The story of Ronaldo in 2008.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The 3 team playoff for the Apertura title is all set. They finished tied at #1 on points and the league does not use tie breakers to settle the difference - they play the games on the field! And neutral fields at that.

Matches & Scores:
-Wed Dec 17
San Lorenzo V Tigre - played at Estadio Jose Amalfitani, in Buenos Aires, home of Velez Sarsfield
-Sat Dec 20
Boca Juniors v San Lorenzo - played at Estadio President Peron, in Cordoba, home of AC Cordoba.
-Tue Dec 23
Tigre v Boca Juniors - played at Estadio President Peron, in Cordoba, home of AC Cordoba.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

England News

Blackburn has shown coach Paul Ince the door. He only got ? top flight games to make a go of it. Is that really fair?
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

European News

SPAIN

I somehow missed this, but in his weekly column for ESPN Soccernet Phil Ball announced that next week would be his last column, he was going on a sabatical. This is a big shock to me. I love this guys stories. Let's hope he comes came or at least emerges somewhere else soon! Best of luck Phil! And thanks to Gary for the heads up on this one.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

UEFA Champions League

The draw for the round of 16 knock outs will be held on Fri Dec 19.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

UEFA Cup

Matchday 5 will take place on Dec 17 & 18. Here are those Matches & Scores.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Group Standings
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

World News

The Associated Press with an article that looks back on 2008 in all of world football. Via the Rocky Mountain News.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

FIFA Club World Cup

The FIFA Club World Cup from Japan.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Official web site
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Matches & Scores:
-Thu Dec 11
Adelaide United 2-1 Waitakere United - AU goals by Daniel Mullen & Travis Dodd. WU goal by Paul Seaman.
-Fri Dec 12
Al Ahly 2-4 Pachuca - AlA goals by Fausto Pinto(OG) & Flavio. Pach goals by Luis Montes, Damian Alvarez & Chaco Gimenez(2).
Sun Dec 14
Adelaide 0-1 Gamba Osaka - GO goal by Yasuhito Endo.
Wed Dec 17 - Semifinal
Pachuca v Liga de Quito - live at 4:30am central on Fox Soccer Channel
-Thu Dec 18 - Semifinal
Gamba Osaka v Manchester United - live at 4:30am central on Fox Soccer Channel
-Sun Dec 21 - Final
Winner 1 v Winner 2 - live at 4:30am central on Fox Soccer Channel
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

This Is The End

From the New York Times Sunday Magazine - 2008, The Year In Ideas - Dec 14, 08
Goalkeeper Science
What’s the best way to stop a penalty kick? Do nothing: just stand in the center of the goal and don’t move.
That is the surprising conclusion of “Action Bias Among Elite Soccer Goalkeepers: The Case of Penalty Kicks,” a paper published by a team of Israeli scientists in Journal of Economic Psychology that attracted attention earlier this year. The academics analyzed 286 penalty kicks and found that 94 percent of the time the goalies dived to the right or the left — even though the chances of stopping the ball were highest when the goalie stayed in the center.
If that’s true, why do goalies almost always dive off to one side? Because, the academics theorized, the goalies are afraid of looking as if they’re doing nothing — and then missing the ball. Diving to one side, even if it decreases the chance of them catching the ball, makes them appear decisive. “They want to show that they’re doing something,” says Michael Bar-Eli, one of the study’s authors. “Otherwise they look helpless, like they don’t know what to do.”
Interestingly, the goalies’ behavior violates “norm theory,” which suggests that when people are faced with a tough problem, they often choose inaction, because a bad outcome looks worse and causes more regret when it appears to be the product of a bad decision. Better to do nothing and hope the problem goes away! But in soccer, this paradigm is reversed.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Joe said...

Actually, a large percentage of Major League Baseball players do attend college, if they are American. Joba Chamberlain, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, just to name a few. Many players do leave early, if they are drafted high enough and the money is there.

Sure, you can sign a pro baseball contract at 16, but those kids usually spend years in the minor leagues. I think a 16 year old Dominican signing a pro contract to play in the US is like a 16 year old US kid signing with Man U. Opportunity knocks.

10:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I completely agree with the penalty kick thing. As a kid I remember learning how to defend PK's and the first rule everyone breaks is don't go until you know where the ball is going. It's not like your going to stop a perfect PK, but it's the crappy shots that you need to keep out.

11:08 PM  
Blogger kj said...

Nice ad by US Soccer. Someone ought to tell them the game's in 2009, not 2008.

11:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joe, college baseball boasts the lowest four year graduation rate of any NCAA sponsored sport.

3:09 PM  
Anonymous joe said...

Sure Anonymous, but still, the kids to go to college to play ball. It's more the norm they will play some college ball, as opposed to going straight to the pros

6:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And for that matter, Tiger Woods went to Stanford, so it seems inapppropriate to include golf, too.

For that matter, the majority of US soccer players, almost no matter how good they are, still go to school for at least a year or two and probably will for a while.

6:22 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Newer Posts Older Posts